I'm very much an amateur video maker, but I am trying to broaden my skill set a bit and start creating my own effects and short video clips to supplement the recordings I make in a more substantial way. As an example, one of the first things I'd like to do is to make a small clip that functions a little bit like Megaman boss select screen of yore; moving a selector around some pictures and scrolling in a text label to briefly explain it.

I can handle the resources that go into it to a large extent; the portraits, the actual selector graphic, the text, all no problem. However, I have no idea how to properly overlay and tie all this stuff together! I'm most familiar with AviSynth and Lightworks, and I've pored over the documentation for both the best I know how. It seems like I'm just missing out on a structure for the basic work flow. Can anyone help me out with an approach to making basic animations and movies when you have a large amount of static content to go into it?

1 Answer 1


You will need so-called video composition software such as Adobe After Affects or even Blender.

A few years ago Combustion was available which was very good for things like this, but Autodesk came along and purchased it, sucked it dry of blood, and put it in a drawer never to be seen again.

AE comes with a price tag, while Blender is free (site http://www.blender.org appear to be down when I tested it now - see Wiki link above for information on it). Both have a pretty steep learning curve though if you never used composition software before. But there exist a lot of free learning material on the web to help you up and going.

Update: Adding some links to resources that hopefully can be of use:

After effects, layers, compositions - This will show how you can first create elements, then how to place them with different position and angle onto another video. The more relevant part starts from about 8:30 or so:

After Effects introduction:

This site gives you bucket loads of video tutorials on AE and composition effects, layers and so forth:

Video editing with Blender (part 1):

Special video effects with Blender:

Hope these will be of help!

  • Interesting. I hadn't realized I would need another program. I suppose it makes sense, though. Could you give me a 10,000 foor view of what I would need to do to accomplish my goal? A simple explanation of steps is fine, I can google or ask for specific details if I have trouble.
    – tmesser
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 21:28
  • I'm going ahead and accepting your answer because I don't want the bounty to go to waste, but I would still really appreciate it if you could give me a brief overview of the tasks I need to do/research to get this going. I've been messing with Blender the last few days, but you were not kidding when you said there was a ton to learn!
    – tmesser
    Commented Nov 10, 2012 at 18:00
  • @YYY I added some resources in my answer that hopefully will help out. What you want to look more into is the layer concept (much as with Photoshop, just with video). These will allow you to place your graphics/video elements at different positions and sizes to composite the final video. My first links shows this (it's really about some other effect, but at around 8:20+ it goes into showing placement). AE is more directed towards composition, while Blender is a 3D app that comes with video editing and composition ability. Personally I would recommend you to focus on AE for compositions.
    – user2995
    Commented Nov 10, 2012 at 23:13

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